Postcard: Scooter Galore

Hanoi, Vietnam 27th September 2012 Anyone who has traveled to Vietnam would definitely remember the galore of scooters on its streets.  I remember the hordes of two-wheelers roaring past us on the narrow roads of the Old Quarter in Hanoi. The sheer abundance of scooters on Vietnamese roads makes you wonder – where are the…

Postcard: The Terraces of Life

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (22nd April 2011) While Bali’s beaches are one facet of the amazing island, the center of the island offers quite contrasting sceneries. As we were coming back from the Goa Gajah temple near Ubud, our driver stopped at a spot in Tegalalang village which was surrounded by lush green paddy fields. Standing…

Postcard: The Chinese Calligraphist

Chinatown, Singapore (26th September 2009) As I walk through Singapore’s Chinatown, I couldn’t resist stopping by this shop which had all types of traditional wall scrolls displayed with lovely Chinese calligraphy. I just love calligraphy, an art which transforms the written word itself into an image with an aesthetic value. Whether it is cursive and…

Postcard: A China in Every Town

Chinatown, Singapore (26th September 2009) I have never been to China, but I have had ample glimpses of that country in cities such as New York, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Yes, I am talking about the ubiquitous Chinatown, the ethnic enclave of Chinese people which is present in every big city spread across the…

Postcard: A View from the Top

Halong Bay, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam (28th December 2012) Vietnam’s Halong Bay is known for its thousands of limestone islets jutting out of its waters, and it is always a special feeling when you take a cruise boat which glides through the bay amidst these giant krasts. Fortunately, our tour also had an optional extra…

Postcard: Walking Through the Ruins

Mỹ Sơn, Quảng Nam Province, Vietnam (2nd January 2013) During our stay in Hoi An, we decided to visit Mỹ Sơn, the ruins of the Champa Kingdom whose kings had ruled Vietnam between the 4th and 14th centuries AD. While we were expecting nothing more than a couple of old abandoned buildings in a compact…

Postcard: The Buddha Tree

Ayutthaya, Thailand (16th April 2011) During my travels in Thailand, I had seen a lot of statues and idols of the Buddha. However, I found a very peculiar one in Wat Maha That temple in Ayutthaya. Here, the Buddha’s head is lodged in the tangled roots of a large tree and there is also a…

Postcard: Rice Art

Hoi An, Vietnam (1st January 2013) Being one of the largest producers of rice in the world, Vietnam has managed to find other ingenious use for the food grain – that of creating art. I came across these rice paintings in a little shop in Hoi An, and stood fascinated before them wondering how much…